60 Resources to Improve your Legal Research and Writing Skills 

Created by Abhayraj Naik and Shrutanjaya Bhardwaj, Compiled and edited by Tanuj Kalia

We at Lawctopus launched our course on Legal Research and Writing here recently.

Legal Research and Legal Writing are meta skills for any legal professional. Whether you are a law student wanting to writing excellent research papers and moot memos, an academician, or a practitioner of any sort, legal research and writing are critical. 

The course has been prepared by Abhayraj Naik and Shrutanjaya Bhardwaj and the below reading list too is a result of their efforts. 

Abhayraj Naik did his BA LLB (Hons.) from NLSIU Bangalore in 2006 and LLM from Yale Law School in 2009. He is currently an independent researcher and consultant and has previously taught in colleges like JGLS, Azim Premji University, and NLSIU. He has also been a research fellow at SARAI-CSDS, and a researcher at the Environment Support Group in Bangalore.

Shrutanjaya Bhardwaj is the lead researcher and writer of this course. He completed his BA LLB (Hons.) from NLUD in 2017 where he was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Best Overall Student (Male). He then worked at the chambers of Gopal Sankarnarayanan for a year and then went on to complete LLM from Michigan Law School in 2019.

More than their credentials we are proud of the level of effort and input that has gone into the developing of this course. While the course is priced very affordably at Rs. 3000, we understand that for many even that would be difficult. 

Hence, for all those interested in improving their legal research and writing skills, we are releasing our ‘resource list’ (consisting of articles, research papers, videos, etc.) for some of our modules. We hope you find this useful.

If you are interested in doing the course, please click here.

Module 1: Introduction to Legal Research

  1. David Gray, Doing Research in the Real World (2004), Chs. 1 & 2 
  2. Dr. Abhay Bang, Research, for whom? (IDR Online, 3rd May 2018)

Module 2: Legal research design and the research problem

  1. Joseph A. Maxwell, Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach (2013) Chs. 3-5
  2. John Creswell, Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods and Approaches (2013), Chs. 2, 5, 6 & 7 
  3. Kristina Simion, Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches to Rule of Law Research (INPROL, 2016) 
  4. P. Langbroek, Methodology of Legal Research: Challenges and Opportunities (Utrecht Law Review – Utrecht University School of Law, 2017)

Module 3: Research Method & Methodology

  1. John Creswell, Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods and Approaches (2009), Chs. 8-10 
  2. Julienne Meyer, Evaluating Action Research (British Geriatrics Society, Keynote Lecture) 
  3. Kristina Simion, Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches to Rule of Law Research (INPROL, 2016) 
  4. P. Langbroek, Methodology of Legal Research: Challenges and Opportunities (Utrecht Law Review – Utrecht University School of Law, 2017)

Module 4: Doctrinal Legal Research Methods

Below are some online resources that could be useful:

  1. IndianKanoon.org
  2. SSRN.com
  3. Law Commission of India
  4. NALSAR’s Indian Journal of Intellectual Property Law
  5. NLUJ’s Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Quarterly
  6. NLUD’s Journal of Legal Studies
  7. Law and OtherThings
  8. Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy
  9. The Proof of Guilt
  10. SpicyIP
  11. Key in filetype:pdf and do your Google search. This will throw up only PDF files many of which are excellent research papers.

Module 5: Empirical Legal Research

  1. Empirical Legal Research Study Design (Yale Law School
  2. Empirical Research Services (Harvard Law School
  3. General Guidelines for Conducting Research Interviews (Free Management Library
  4. How to Choose: Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote (Washington University)
  5. Jessica Marie Falcone, ‘I spy…’: The (Im)possibilities of Ethical Participant Observation with Antagonists, Religious Extremists, and Other Tough Nuts (Michigan Discussions in Anthropology 18: 243–282, 2010
  6. Learn Zotero: Step by Step Tutorial (Management of your references in research) (Roshan Ali, YouTube, 23 July 2017) 
  7. The Lund-London Guidelines on International Human Rights Fact-Finding Visits and Reports by Non-Governmental Organisations (Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, International Bar Association

legal research books, legal writing books

Let’s take a bit of a pause from the ‘list’.

We’d like to tell you some of the add-on benefits you can get if and when you register for Lawctopus’ Online course.

Add-on benefits from doing our course

  • Get a certificate issued by Lawctopus after the completion of the course.
  • Free career counseling, CV and career guidance for the best student in each batch.
  • Get preferable internship slots with our partner organisations, lawyers, and law firms (for the top-performing students in each batch).
  • A chance to get published on Academike, Lawctopus’ Law Journal (ISSN: 2349-9796).
  • An opportunity to mentor future batches for senior students, academicians, and practitioners (this is a paid, part-time, work-from-position at Lawctopus)

Let’s continue with the list now!

Module 6: Legal Writing

  1. Ali Almossawi, An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments (2013) 
  2. ‘Don’t just vomit on the page’: how to write a legal essay (The Guardian, 24 Oct. 2018) 
  3. James Lindgren, STYLE MATTERS: A REVIEW ESSAY ON LEGAL WRITING 92 Yale L.J. (1982) 
  4. Mark Osbeck, WHAT IS “GOOD LEGAL WRITING” AND WHY DOES IT MATTER? Drexel L. Rev. 4, no. 2 (2012): 417-66 
  5. PCMLP Oxford, Drafting Legal Arguments for your Memorials (YouTube, 4 Jul. 2012) 
  6. The Writing Process (NYU Law

Module 7: Presenting Your Legal Research

  1. Andrew Bradbury, SUCCESSFUL PRESENTATION SKILLS 3rd ed. 2006 
  2. Delivering an effective presentation (University of Leicester
  3. Effective PowerPoint Presentations – Slides (LearnHigher
  4. How Lawyers Can Benefit From Visual Content (Visually, 2015) 
  5. Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin & Matthew M. Scheider, On the Effective Communicaation of the Results of Empirical Studies, Part I 59 Vanderbilt Law Rev. 1811 (2006) 
  6. Legal Skills and Research: Presentation Skills (Oxford LibGuides
  7. Nancy Duarte, How to lure the audience (YouTube, 22nd April 2012) 
  8. Presenting Your Legal Research to a Partner: A Guide. Part Two: Presenting your Research (Think Like a Lawyer, 22 Jun. 2012) 
  9. Ten Tips for a Powerful Presentation (Duarte) 75 
  10. The Legal Design Lab (Stanford Law School
  11. Visual Law: What Lawyers need to learn from Information Designers (Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School)

Module 8: Ethics of Legal Research and Writing

  1. Alfie Kohn (Abusing Research
  2. David B. Resnik, What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important? (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Government of the United States of America, 2015) 
  3. Ethical Guidelines for Good Research Practice (Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and the Commonwealth, 2011) 
  4. N. Madhavan, Giving infants the gift of life (BusinessLine, 14th September 2018) 
  5. Plagiarism (Oxford University
  6. Research Mindedness: Misuse of Research (Social Care Institute for Excellence
  7. SLSA, Statement of Principles of Ethical Research Practice (SLSA, 2009) 
  8. Plagiarism, The Writing Center (University of North Carolina
  9. Types of Misconduct in Research (University of Leicester
  10. UCT Research Ethics Code (University of Cape Town, 2011) 
  11. What is Plagiarism? (University of Michigan Research Guides
  12. What is Plagiarism? (Viper)

Do let us know if there are any quality, trusted resources (especially open-access and online) that you find useful and we’ll be happy to update this list.

If you found this resources’ list useful, you’ll surely find our course extremely helpful too!

Here’s what the mode of learning for our course is:

  • Completely online and self-paced
  • Recorded video lectures
  • Text-based modules and reading resources
  • Online based forum for doubts
  • Assignment: submission of a short research paper
  • Optional reflective exercises
  • Live webinars (optional too) with Lawctopus’ team and course faculty

If interested, do sign-up for Lawctopus’ Legal Research and Writing course here. 

 

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